One of Jim Jarmusch’s strengths as a storyteller rests in his ability to take a long standing genre, whether it’s a Western (DeadMan) or a crime drama (Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai), and transform them into visually stirring and evocative examinations of our own mortality.
Vampires are Jim Jarmusch’s obsession with his latest film Only Lovers Left Alive, and although Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) hunger for blood, they are equally dependent on each other. Jarmusch has described his film, which was inspired by the Mark Twain book The Diaries of Adam and Eve, as a love story between two outsiders who have “a vast overview of human and natural history, including stunning achievements and tragic and brutal failures.”
As with most of Jarmusch’s work, expect a healthy share of fluid, lingering camera movements coupled with long (and thankfully interesting) conversations about love, humanity, and sometimes absolutely nothing at all. Most notably, Only Lovers Left Alive, aside from a few moments of vampirism, is mainly focused on two beings who’ve lived, and loved, through the centuries.
“We wanted it to be about a marriage in which they talk, as long relationships do,” said Swinton, who previously collaborated with Jarmusch in BrokenFlowers and The Limits of Control. “There’s a tradition of sort of showing people coming together and then (it’s) the end. You never really see them actually living it out. Living the ups and the downs and talking it through. Chewing the cud. We really spent a lot of time wanting to get that tone of people who were family…they are the same kind, and that’s why they still dig each other, even through they are so different.”